For those who don't know, this album comes after the recent disillusion of collaboration between Joy Williams and John Paul White. In general, there is something so dreamy about The Civil Wars. It may be the way Williams' voice flows through the melodies or White's quiet yet powerful instrumentals and backup vocals. On this self-titled album, the sadness comes through in each of the tracks. The title of the single, "The One That Got Away," is just a preview of the heartbreak and disappointment that plagues the release. "From the Valley" and "Oh Henry" are two high points. I wonder where this group of songs will stand up next to Barton Hollow, which is one of my favorite albums of 2011.
As a fan of DCFC and Rilo Kiley, I gave this album a chance and it is as advertised. It has that pop-punk sound popular in the early 2000s. The title track reminds me of an early Starting Line song. Most of the other tracks have that Armor for Sleep quality with the harmonies and breakdowns. XM's AltNation would play these songs on repeat. I wish that this band was around during the early 2000s. But then again Longlost would probably just have gotten lost in the mass of similar bands that existed during that time. If you are interested in hearing what is current in the pop-punk scene, I'd recommend this album. It was an enjoyable journey back into long-lost music preferences.
[editor's note: an update was made on 8/6 to reflect an incorrect characterization of the relationship between members of The Civil Wars and some additional thoughts on that album were added.]